Short Term Rental Resources Needed

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Hi, I'm totally new to the game, but would like to learn more about buying an investment property to be used as a short term rental. Does anyone know some good resources for learning that niche? This would not be in what is considered a vacation hot spot, probably more geared to a business traveler.

One specific question I have is how to research the city codes to make sure I'd be in compliance.  I'm thinking about along the 400N corridor, Sandy Springs/Roswell/Alpharetta area.  Does anyone have info on these areas specifically? 

Thanks in advance.

Originally posted by @Jessica Freese:

One specific question I have is how to research the city codes to make sure I'd be in compliance.  I'm thinking about along the 400N corridor, Sandy Springs/Roswell/Alpharetta area.  Does anyone have info on these areas specifically?  


Thanks in advance.

 I read a couple books off of Amazon before getting started. I think The Vacation Rental Goldmine (https://smile.amazon.com/Vacation-Rental-Goldmine-...) and it helped me quite a bit.

In terms of city codes, I would be very careful to make sure you get into an area that is already supportive of STRs. There are a lot of places that are starting to ban them. I am in two markets that are very supportive of STRs so we have to be licensed as a hotel and collect sales tax. If they have sales tax structure setup for STR's, you're probably in good shape. If they don't, they are behind the curve and you are gambling that when they do get caught up that it might not be in your favor.

Good luck!

Buy bank foreclosure houses in a small town with a large industry. 

In my situation, this town has a population of 9000.  There is a 115,000 barrel per day refinery and associated fertilizer plant here.  I buy bank foreclosures, go to estate auctions to buy furniture/appliances, stock the house, and then rent them out to the people that come here from far away to work short term jobs.  It helps that I do the pre employment drug screens before they can get in the plant.  22 houses, 82 beds, 60 televisions, 40 bathrooms.  6 months of rent pays for a house, 1 month of rent pays for furniture/appliances.  It can take 7-12 months to get 6 months of rent.

Thanks for the info, Sid.  I'll check out that book. 

I have a feeling that I might use a place like this for a year or two (until I have more properties or I get tired of hosting), at which point I'd just switch it to a long term rental.  So if the laws change in a couple of years, then meh.  It'll be ok. 

Do you know any keywords to search for in the city code for STR ordinances? I've been pouring over my town's code and can't find anything on it. I can call tomorrow, but was poking around tonight.

@Paul Sandhu   Wow, interesting.  I have not thought of that.  Not too far from me is a bunch of chicken processors.  That might be in line with the kind of thing you have going on there?  

Originally posted by @Jessica Freese:

Thanks for the info, Sid.  I'll check out that book. 

Do you know any keywords to search for in the city code for STR ordinances? I've been pouring over my town's code and can't find anything on it. I can call tomorrow, but was poking around tonight.

 I really don't. I have not had to deal with it, I just hear about it a lot on one of the Facebook groups I'm in. It should not be a big deal but is something to keep an eye out for.

Start by googling “AirBnB Atlanta” and hit the News button. See what they’re saying.

My opinion is, as always, don’t do this in a big city. You are not a hotel. Short term renters are on vacation and like to party. It’s not fair to your neighbors.

@Jessica Freese Funny you should mention chicken processors.  Tyson Foods had selected 2 towns in Kansas to build a $320 million chicken processing facility.  My town was one of the two.  They picked Humbolt Tennessee instead.  We are still in the running for a future facility.

If you do decide to go this route, remember this.  You are not renting to vacationing families. You are renting to working guys.  You are an alternative to a motel.  Use Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as your guide in order to be better than a motel.  People need to eat, sleep and wear clean clothes; everything else you can provide beyond that is a bonus.

@Paul Sandhu - a very interesting model! How do you advertise your properties to find the corporate workers? Do you work directly with the refinery or through conventional STR platforms?

@Nate Jackson Gorilla Marketing. Here are my approaches, listed in order of effectiveness:

1. I do the pre employment drug screens for most contractors that come here to work in the plant.  They all get a pen with my info on it.

2. Craigslist ad every day.

3. In October I send thank you letters and calendars of scantily clad women with my info to all the companies that had their people rent from me.

4. 2 billboards in the contractors parking lot.

5. Magnetic sign on both doors of my truck touting "Furnished Houses"

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